Fruit Infused Water

FruitInfused Water

Forget Juice and Soda!!  Fruit infused water is way more fun, and we won’t mention how much more healthy it can be… 

I prefer to use fresh organic fruit when in season, but frozen fruit works too!  The best part is that you can use whatever fruit you like and mix it up to keep it interesting!  My son loves to help make a batch and enjoys getting creative with it.

Some of our favorites:

Cucumber–Yum Yum!!  I never knew how much I could love the taste of cucumber, but the light flavor of it in ice cold water is so refreshing!! This was a surprise to me, but now one of my absolute favorites.

Pineapple Watermelon

Citrus–Orange, Lime, Lemon.  Slice into rounds, then cut in half

Raspberry Peach (Frozen Peaches have worked best for us)

Strawberry, Cherry, and Peach

Cherry Lime

Pineapple mint, and Cucumber mint

Blueberry Sage (press and twist herbs with muddler)

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Gluten Sensitivity

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This is a perfect picture of what it looks and feels like to BE Gluten Free.  Take it from me!  Going Gluten Free was absolutely the best lifestyle change I have ever made, hands down!!  There are many scientific studies and growing evidence proving we are ALL sensitive to Gluten.   Here are a few examples, but this barely touches the surface of how bad Gluten has become for each and everyone of us.

Gluten is a protein found in seeds of grains such as Barley, Wheat, and Rye.  Gluten is Latin for “glue”.  It gives elasticity to dough.  According to many studies, Gluten Sensitivity, also known as Gluten Intolerance is affecting many people today. Many do not realize it because the effects of this intolerance don’t always reveal themselves in easily recognizable symptoms.  The most common set of symptoms recorded are IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, numbness, and depression, but there are many more symptoms that have been loosely linked to gluten intake.

Dr. Hyman calls gluten a “tsunami of chronic illness”.  He offers great insight to the dangers of gluten on his website.  He also explains why gluten is a problem for up to 20 million Americans, even though 99% of the people don’t realize they are affected.  Dr. Hyman suggests eliminating gluten from your diet for two to six weeks to find out if you are gluten sensitive.  If you loose weight and your symptoms disappear, most likely gluten is a problem for you.  To verify your finding, try adding gluten back into your diet.  If your symptoms reappear, then this verifies you are sensitive to gluten.  There is also gene testing available to show if you have the gluten intolerant gene.

Dr. AL Sears’s states that the longer gluten intolerance is left untreated, the worse the outcome can become.  Unfortunately, gluten intolerance is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions out there.  If left untreated, gluten intolerance could cause cancer, reduced blood flow to the brain, Vitamin D deficiency, and thyroid disease to name a few.  Dr. Al Sears states that our gut does not know what to do with the grain products we eat today.  He states that our “gut brain” thinks gluten is a foreign substance and that when gluten reaches the gut, it panics.  The gut reacts by sending antibodies to attack this unknown substance, which causes the immune system to become hyper alert with autoimmune components.  This can cause your body to attack its own tissue.  When the immune system attacks, it damages the villi in the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from food, so they can’t absorb the vitamins and minerals your body needs to live.

Dr. James Baum offers a scientific explanation of why so many people are gluten intolerant.  He states that gluten intolerance is a direct result of the genetic alteration in the gluten content of wheat, barley, rye, and spelt.  The nature of toxicity to gluten stems from the chemical nature of gluten in relation to the immune system of individuals with genes that recognize gluten as a foreign protein and is therefore toxic.  Patients with gluten intolerance produce a T-cell mediated autoimmune response to the ingestion of gluten related proteins.  More specifically the gliadins and glutenins found in wheat, the hordeins in barley, and the secalins found in rye.  These dietary proteins have been genetically altered through thousands of years of cultivation to be rich in praline and glutamine, which produce the gluten intolerance.  This immune response not only causes damage to the small intestine, but also stimulates many disease processes in the body.

I have been mostly gluten free for more than 7 years now; I call it eating gluten light because there are always moments it is near impossible, regardless of how hard I try!!  I cannot express enough–gluten free was a life changing experience for me.  I immediately lost weight, and felt re-energized.  Headaches and constant joint discomfort disappeared completely never to return again.  I have a flat tummy–no “Wheat Belly” here!  I’m also able to have bad days eating things I probably shouldn’t all weekend, but as long as I stay away from Gluten my belly stays flat.  Now I know everyone is different, so please do not get discouraged if you don’t notice your desired changes right-away.  Stick with it, and you will not regret it.

Through the years, friends, family, & co-workers have also tried going gluten free.  Most everyone report specific symptom improvements, and weight loss.  Just about every person has reported feeling an increase in energy right away. A tip for those of you who would like to try gluten free—be careful not to replace all the gluten items you used to eat such as cake, pie and other desserts with the corn and rice alternatives, which may contain more calories.

Thinking about going wheat/gluten free?  Here is a great site offering a nice list of gluten free food options:

List of Gluten Free Foods

Reference:

www.drhyman.com

www.alsearsmd.com

www.drjamesbaum.com

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/gluten-free-casein-free-diets-for-autism

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200393522456636.html

***Disclaimer: All writing here reflects my personal opinions and does not carry a medical or licensed recommendation of advice or care. Always consult your personal physician in matters related to health or dietary advice

Gluten Free made quick, easy, and Kid friendly

Here are 3 recipes the whole family will love!!

Easy Stuffed Peppers
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil
2-3 Organic Carrots, grated and finely chopped
6 Cloves of Organic Garlic, minced
1 pound of Ground Turkey or Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup of Organic Tomato Sauce
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Peppers, any Color, top cut off and seeded
1 Cup of Shredded cheese (we use mozzarella and cheddar)
Freshly grated parsley for garnish

Directions: Cook ground turkey, set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In medium pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add Garlic and Carrots, stir for about 3 min. Stir in prepared Turkey, Tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese until thoroughly mixed together. Divide the mixture into your prepared peppers on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 min, and then top each pepper with shredded cheese. Bake for another 5 min. Garnish with Parsley and Serve warm. SERVE with Pasta or Biscuits.

Creamy One Pot Pasta
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Butter
Dash of salt
4 Cups Organic Chicken or Vegetable Broth
8 Ounces Gluten Free Spaghetti
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
1 ½ Tbsp. freshly chopped Organic Parsley leaves

Directions: In a medium pan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add Garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add butter, and stir constantly until melted. Add dash of salt and broth. Bring to a boil then add the pasta and cook according to the directions or until tender. Stir in cheese, cream, and parsley until mixed thoroughly. Serve Immediately.

Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuits
4 Cups of Gluten Free Bisquick mix
1 Cup of Sour Cream
1 Cup of 7-Up
½ Cup of melted Butter

Directions: In a large bowl, mix Bisquick, Sour Cream, and &7-up. The dough will be VERY soft. Knead and fold dough on a surface sprinkled with GF flour.  Pat it out, and  cut using a round cookie or biscuit cutter.Melt butter in bottom of a 9×13 Pan. Pace biscuits on top of melted butter. BAKE at 425 for 15 minutes.

Need another reason to avoid white bread?

Here is an awesome article about nutrition and looking younger.

5 Foods that make you look younger:
1.) Sweet Potatoes for the beta carotene
2.)Wild Salmon for the astaxanthin
3.) Tomatoes for lycopene
4.) Citrus fruits for vitamin c and bioflavonoids
5.) Leafy Greens for lutein

AND… (drum roll)

6.) Stay away from white foods because they are ultimately broken down to sugar
7.) Food is better than a pill
8.) The Bonus drink: “red wine contains skin-friendly grape-seed extract and resveratrol, two powerful antioxidants”

Nutrition and Looking Younger

Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders (Naturally Gluten Free)

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This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes.  The crunch is just perfect and no frying is necessary!  You can serve as a main dish or slice the strips into smaller chunks to throw on top of a salad.  I also use this same recipe with turkey strips and for making homemade chicken/turkey nuggets.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of organic chicken tenders
1-½ cup roasted almonds
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1-teaspoon organic garlic powder
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, optional
2 eggs

Olive Oil Spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil

Wash tenders and pat dry with paper towel.

Place almonds, sea salt, garlic powder, and pepper into a food processor and process until almonds are very finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a plate or shallow dish.

Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl.

Dip each strip into egg mixture, then coat completely with almond mixture.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, and crispy on each side.  I bake about 10-12 minutes per side, spraying each strip with my olive oil spray pump before turning.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or try my favorite Honey Mustard dipping sauce.

Banana Bread made with Coconut & Almond Flour

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A tasty yet healthy recipe for banana bread, or muffins.  This recipe is gluten-free and has no refined sugar.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

¾ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of sea salt
¾ cup of Almond Flour
¼ cup of Coconut Flour
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
3 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon of Vanilla
2 ripe bananas
¼ cup maple syrup or honey

Directions:

Preheat over to 350, and oil or butter 5×8” bread pan

Using whisk, blend all the dry ingredients together

Blend wet ingredients together, and then mix into the dry mixture.  Blend well

Pour batter into prepared bread pan

Bake 40 minutes, or until browned and a toothpick inserted in middle of bread comes out clean.

Related Articles:

Almond Flour Sandwich Bread
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread